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Can autistic child collect social security disability payments?

My husband and I are solidly in the middle class, but we have a 4 year-old son with autism. Should we or can we sign him up for Social Security Disability benefits? If so, would it be ssdi or ssi? Thank you.

 
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Editor's Response

Assuming you can document your child's disability to the satisfaction of the Social Security Administration (usually based on reports and diagnosise produced by doctors), he may qualify for Supplemental Security Income, depending on your family income.  I believe that if your family is eligible for Medicaid or Food Stamps, then he may qualify for SSI.  Of course, even if your family income is too high for him to qualify for SSI now, he may qualify after he turns 18, based on his individual income level.
 
In order to qualify for SSDI, I believe the child would to have at least one parent who worked long enough to qualify for SSDI benefits, but is now deceased or receiving retirement or disability benefits.  I pulled this (very incomplete) information from various Social Security Adminsitration web pages (www.socialsecurity.gov/disability).  Take a look at the website or call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 for more complete answer.  Also, most Social Security Disability attorneys offer free consultations and could propbably give you a better idea of what type of benefits, if any, you son may qualify for.  Good luck.

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